BORK? Why not bring back Thornmail?

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Xypherous

Systems Designer

03-05-2013
14 of 28 Riot Posts

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If health is like Irelia, by virtue of both being too good for how few drawbacks they have, why is nerfing these things not an acceptable solution?
Nerfing health and *not* introducing a counter to health is basically nerfing Irelia so that Riven doesn't have to be overpowered.

However - it means that Irelia needs to be basically gutted and completely removed from the game as an extension of this. It essentially means that Riven is still overpowered compared to Irelia - it's just that instead of Riven being far above Irelia - it just means that Irelia is so weak that picking her is instantly losing.

BoRK adds an intrinsic weakness to Health such that Armor does not have to be as crazy as it was in S2 to compete with Health.

If something has no real weakness - and you nerf the original so much so that you overcome the risk-aversion that players have to swap out - you still have the net power imbalance between option A or option B - option B is much much stronger than A. You've simply done so by making A suck - rather than making B overpowered - instead of ensuring that A and B both have real strengths and weaknesses.


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Super Explosion

Senior Member

03-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by iainB85 View Post
Xypherous, do you have any thoughts on AP itemization and how they can deal with high HP targets?

It currently feels like Liandry's is better suited for sustain AP tanks, and DFG has a lot of problems (like active being a projectile rather than instant, and a difficult build path with large rod).

Anything to share on this end?
Okay, so a Burst AP is designed to counter squishies with instant death.

Tanks are supposed to be able to zone burst casters, and thus protect the carry.

The problem occurs if something prevents a burst caster from reliably killing squishies, or target that should normally be vulnerable to them.

Because at that point they can't accomplish their design goal, and there's no point picking them.

There's the possibility to design some sort of 'execution' effect item for burst APs to support this design goal.


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Zerglinator

Senior Member

03-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xypherous View Post
Nerfing health and *not* introducing a counter to health is basically nerfing Irelia so that Riven doesn't have to be overpowered. However - it means that Irelia needs to be basically gutted and completely removed from the game as an extension of this.
So...better NOT nerf Irelia?


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March of Dimes

Senior Member

03-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xypherous View Post
Nerfing health and *not* introducing a counter to health is basically nerfing Irelia so that Riven doesn't have to be overpowered.

However - it means that Irelia needs to be basically gutted and completely removed from the game as an extension of this. It essentially means that Riven is still overpowered compared to Irelia - it's just that instead of Riven being far above Irelia - it just means that Irelia is so weak that picking her is instantly losing.

BoRK adds an intrinsic weakness to Health such that Armor does not have to be as crazy as it was in S2 to compete with Health.

If something has no real weakness - and you nerf the original so much so that you overcome the risk-aversion that players have to swap out - you still have the net power imbalance between option A or option B - option B is much much stronger than A. You've simply done so by making A suck - rather than making B overpowered - instead of ensuring that A and B both have real strengths and weaknesses.
Well, assume Irelia wasn't designed in such a way that she was beyond fixing with nerfs: would it be so bad to nerf something when it's too strong instead of releasing other counters that are also too strong? In both cases, I'd say we're getting into an "old lady who swallowed the fly" type of scenario.


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Super Explosion

Senior Member

03-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xypherous View Post
Nerfing health and *not* introducing a counter to health is basically nerfing Irelia so that Riven doesn't have to be overpowered. However - it means that Irelia needs to be basically gutted and completely removed from the game as an extension of this.

BoRK adds an intrinsic weakness to Health such that Armor does not have to be as crazy as it was in S2 to compete with Health.

If something has no real weakness - and you nerf the original so much so that you overcome the risk-aversion that players have to swap out - you still have the net power imbalance between option A or option B - option B is much much stronger than A.
Armor had to be powerful in Season 2 because the default combat posture is at range, and your only carries are ranged physical damage.

Until that's changed, whatever counters ranged physical damage best will probably be the dominant defensive type.

The game is nowhere near as simple as "a counter to health".

It can be condensed as inter-class combat design goals:

Irelia is supposed to be able to kill tanks slowly but surely, yet be vulnerable to sustained kiting.

She needs to accomplish this design goal over the length of the game.

A game which has different phases.

So basically, if you think Lifesteal counters Health, you need to be asking "at what stage of the game" and "for which champions" and "why".


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Xypherous

Systems Designer

03-05-2013
15 of 28 Riot Posts

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Well, assume Irelia wasn't designed in such a way that she was beyond fixing with nerfs: would it be so bad to nerf something when it's too strong instead of releasing other counters that are also too strong? In both cases, I'd say we're getting into an "old lady who swallowed the fly" type of scenario.
It is not bad to nerf something when it is too strong - if their weaknesses are merely being vastly overcome by their innate strength - you solve a lot of problems this way, because the fundamental problem is one of tuning - not of direction.

However, when something has no innate weakness as is - nerfing rarely results in a satisfying solution, at least from previous experience.

Quote:
She needs to accomplish this design goal over the length of the game.

A game which has different phases.
Yes, of course - which is why the fact that BoRK is warping lanes is a problem - because the design goal for the item is to provide sufficient mid / end-game counters to high health targets. Lane is a case where, noy only is this counter completely unnecessarily - it's often pointless because your lane opponent isn't a high health target to begin with.

In fact, the goal of most counter-items is to ensure that mid or late game - there is a path you can take to ensure dominance. It is when the mid/late game relevant statistics start warping lane when the problem bears upon the most.

Take, for example, flat armor penetration in S2 - The values of flat armor penetration in Season 2 frequently meant that AD assassins had ridiculous mid-game power spikes - because you could either afford to build armor, or you couldn't in lane. Laning phase was either dominated or sandbagged by whether or not their opponents could realistically include armor for the inevitable mid or late game clash with the carry - but this just made the feast or famine case of stacking flat penetration all the worse.


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rottim

Senior Member

03-05-2013

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Originally Posted by Xypherous View Post
.... You've simply done so by making A suck - rather than making B overpowered - instead of ensuring that A and B both have real strengths and weaknesses.
But isn't this philosophy good enough and used when it comes to controlling support power levels? Whenever a support is deemed good you hit them with nerfs so the rest can try and climb to the top of the midden heap only to shine for a few patches before being struck down?

It's why we see mages/bruisers being considered viable supports over traditional support champions. While at the same time we'll never see a viable AD Soraka or jungle Janna because they were only designed to do one thing and are being punished when they do that one thing well.


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Xypherous

Systems Designer

03-05-2013
16 of 28 Riot Posts

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It's why we see mages/bruisers being considered viable supports over traditional support champions. While at the same time we'll never see a viable AD Soraka or jungle Janna because they were only designed to do one thing and are being punished when they do that one thing well.
While the extent of variety and builds is interesting and novel - it frequently offers very little real gameplay. AD Soraka might be a fun troll build - but at the end of the day, if AD Soraka was a viable build - it is very questionable as to whether our game would actually be better.

Ensure that champions have a clear purpose and actually function in a role first - then worry about their effects on every other champion in that role - then worry about whether or not you can support variance on that specific champion alone. Champions don't exist in isolation.


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Catches Axes

Senior Member

03-05-2013

Why IS pure health stacking an option, while you're here?

Sunfire Cloak, Banshee's Veil, and a ton of other items have health with other defenses. You build them, you get tankier in general and much tankier vs a damage type.Why does pure health stacking have to be a valid choice, though, outside of super niche situations like Olaf and Dr. Mundo?

It seems like you're bending over backwards to keep the least interesting defensive setup intact by providing it a counter. It's not defenses in general that are problematic, it's pure health stacking, and that's also the least interesting build path, and the one that doesn't already have innate counters (and innate counters being added for it are proving problematic), so why not abandon it?

You have essentially four main defensive stats:
Armor
Magic Resist
Health
Health Regen

Armor and Magic Resist are interesting choices - which you need, and when, is a question of who the big threats on the other team is. Your order for them will vary game to game and some games - if no dpser is doing particularly well, or you're getting super fed - you might not need much of them at all. But Health? Health is always a right answer, unless you artificially insert a reason why it isn't a right answer, because the other team WILL be doing damage and Health counters all damage equally.

It seems like you could solve this whole problem by emphasizing Armor and Magic Resist as the go to defensive stats, and itemizing health incidentally alongside them. If you really want a Warmog's Armor, you can do something like use it to make Health Regen valid late game (it seems like that's part of the intent anyway, though the effect is largely invisible, at least to me when I'm playing), so that it's a Health Regen strategy instead of a pure Health strategy.


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Yoruichi

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Senior Member

03-05-2013

Interesting thread. Thanks for all the insight Xyph, great stuff here.